DICK CHENEY IS ON THE WRONG MISSION
One would think that after a six year string of high crimes and misdemeanors, Dick Cheney would have either been kicked out of office - or would be sitting in front of his war crimes tribunal by now. Yet amazingly, even after being exposed as a total fraud, this man continues to maintain his chokehold on power.
His war is a disaster and his credibility is shot - a political has-been by any measure. This wounded condition has left the Vice President with nothing to lose by pressing forward with his maniacal scheme for our continued occupation of Iraq. His reckless disregard for the security of our nation makes him a very dangerous foe.
His latest gambit is to completely change, by executive decree, our mission for Iraq.
The Vice President, in a carefully scripted performance on Sunday's Face The Nation, said, "I do believe we can win in Iraq. I think it is a worthy cause. I think it's absolutely essential that we prevail." He continued with more of the same, at one point even asserting that anyone who refused to fund his war with a "clean $100 billion" was irresponsible, leaving our troops "without the resources they need to defend themselves."
This journey into the Vice President's fantasy world continued until it seemed that host Bob Schieffer couldn't take it any more. If I may take the liberty of paraphrasing his incredulous response to Cheney's load of horse doo-do, Schieffer asked, in effect, "Dick, you have been lying to us since the first day you got into office. I could count on one hand the number of times you have said something that was actually true. Why should anyone believe a single thing you have to say now? "
Without missing a beat, the Vice President went through the whole laundry list; supporting our troops, the Iraqi and Afghani elections, freedom and democracy in the Middle East, the "global war on terror" blah, blah, blah. He then went on to declare that we would not leave Iraq until we completed "the mission," which he defined, or re-defined, as turning Iraq into a "functioning democracy able to defend itself."
This is where Mr. Schieffer completely dropped the ball. He should have challenged the VP over his authority to change the Iraq mission, since the original mission had nothing to do with setting up a "functioning democracy." If Mr. Schieffer had been better prepared for the interview, he could have confronted Cheney with the exact text of the original mission, as clearly defined in Section 3 Public Law 107-243 that was passed in October of 2002.
Without a doubt, the original authorization was one of the greatest congressional betrayals in our nation's history. But, even in their treachery, Congress never authorized the use of force to turn Iraq into a "functioning democracy able to defend itself." Here is what the authorization said:
Authorization.--The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of
the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in
That was the only mission anyone ever "authorized." Notice there is no mention of a "functioning democracy." There is no mention of overthrowing evil dictators. There is no mention of peace in the Middle East. Even though the authorization was entirely unconstitutional and illegal, and every one of them who voted for it should have been fired, or thrown in jail, the mission was relatively concise.
The "mission" was all about defending America from an imminent threat - a threat that we found out never existed. The mission was essentially accomplished before the first American boot kicked in the front door of Iraq.
Does Iraq pose a continuing threat to the U.S.? The soldiers we have left languishing in a vast Iraqi shooting gallery certainly face a continuing threat, but is Iraq a threat to America? Iraq is not even a remote threat. Is Iraq in compliance with any UN Security Council resolutions? Yes, and they were before the invasion.
Once it became apparent that all the evidence presented to justify the invasion was completely untrue, the original authorization should have self-destructed. Changing the mission after the invasion - by decree - is not an option.
Why do we continue to give these guys a free pass on this change in mission? We need to keep the pressure on our Congress to take back the power they abdicated in October of 2002 - before the plug is pulled altogether on our failing experiment in self-governance.
It is absolutely unbelievable that we let a lying warcriminal appear on TV to say anything at all, let alone to discuss policy. Now, Dick Cheney is wandering off on a mission that was never authorized by Congress. It is time to rein him in.
© 2007 David Brownlow - All Rights Reserved
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Dave Brownlow, a regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, is Vice Chairman of the Constitution Party of Oregon, and a veteran of three congressional campaigns. He is an engineer, entrepreneur, and 25 year political and pro-life activist. He resides in Damascus, Oregon with Suzanne, his wife of 25 years, and their four children. Their son Jared is currently deployed to Iraq with the U.S. Army.
Does Iraq pose a continuing threat to the U.S.? The soldiers we have left languishing in a vast Iraqi shooting gallery certainly face a continuing threat, but is Iraq a threat to America? Iraq is not even a remote threat.